Monday, February 27, 2012

The Idea of Democracy

We're proud to be a democratic republic. Despite all the follies of our country, still somewhere there's always a hope, always something to be proud of.
Let me share an interesting trivia I came across.

There's no unanimously accepted logic why India has been known as the land of the King Bharat (Bharata varsha) since antiquity. What's special about this mythical King Bharata? How did his name stick to the identity of so big a country. There's actually a lesser known fact about this King. He was no doubt a great emperor, but when he didn't find any of his sons to be fit for running the country he adopted a commoner (in fact an illegitimate son shunned by his own parents) on the recommendation of people he trusted and made him his successor, conferring on him the royal lineage. Perhaps this is the earliest instance of democratically electing the head of a country. (And this makes the Pandavas not the biological descendant of Bharata, but that of a commoner with no royal connections)

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